by Yasir Ameen
I heard the lines of Humsafar’s OST (Official Soundtrack) three months ago in a dial tune of few of friends since then I began noticing that many people selected the same OST for their ring and dial tune particularly those bracketed in the young age group.
The trend was rising even I had seen people set wallpapers of their characters on their computer desktops and exchanged its OST on Facebook that showed the deep attachment and craziness of viewers about Humsafar, which was in fact a super duper hit drama that I realized later on nevertheless.
I have observed that the growing popularity of the drama had given an opportunity to cellular operators and TV channel (as a content provider) to make money as scores of the fans of the drama paid 10 plus tax (monthly) on the account of ring and caller tune. Later I got to know that Hum TV management arranged a SMS based balloting for viewers who were given signed Mugs, T-shirts and CD of main characters—I wise step to cash in on popularity because one SMS request costs Rs 10 plus tax.
Eventually one day I happened to visit Youtube and clicked drama’s video in a curiosity to know why people were so attached and liked the drama serial. It was episode 14 or 15 that influenced me to watch previous episodes and traced back the story of serial many thanks to video websites that uploaded all episodes (definitely for making money) because I rarely watch TV drama in the broadcasting hour.
Humsafar, of course, was impressive for grabbing my attention like of a big viewership and I started watching its rest of the episode regularly whether on Youtube or local drama websites. If my memory served me right, I started watching any drama, that is, Humsafar, after five or six years gap mainly because of its appealing story and strong characterization which forced me to watch despite busy routine.
I did not watch the drama only but wait for its new episode for whole week like other people (whom I interact frequently) keep discussing untiring about the suspense of the drama at office, social gathering and mostly importantly on social networking platform, Facebook—how crazy!
As the drama serial proceeded to its climax, the involvement and interest of the people in the story and character became engaged deeply. I recalled that I got SMS “call you back after 9pm” in reply of a call to friends in the on-air hour. And many disconnected my calls with no response.
One hour on Saturday between 8pm to 9pm was really bad time for mobile phone operators when their networks’ witnessed relatively low traffic of calls and SMSes. It was a bit difficult to evaluate for officials but obviously they admit a drop in service consumption by users particularly youngsters and women in the major cities having cable TV facilities.
So when viewers (particularly youngsters) were glued to TV between 8pm to 9pm, there was little response of Uth; Jazba was witnessed low; don’t Say At All; djuicewas not tasted and Glow was slow. Though all of these brands advertisement campaign were in full swing in the commercial break.
Digital Media Viewership
People of the blogshpere and digital experts termed 8-10 pm as one of the prime times of a day as a large section of internet users come online for different purposes. But the situation was not same on Saturday in the above-mentioned hours.
“The subscribers’ visits on Facebook hit the bottom particularly in the last three months,” a digital media buyer said. “Our monitoring report stated that Facebook users were largely seen absent between 7.30 to 9.30 pm, hence, advertising was not effective of our clients (companies’ branding campaign) in this timing on Facebook, Youtube, Google and MSN.”
The 8pm and 9pm is considered a peak time to upload and break a story because you have good audience on the site to engage them but it was almost recorded reverse in terms of response because people was no more Hamsafar of us for Hamsafar drama, remarked comically, one of my friends working for news website in technical and traffic manager.
Youtube is a best facility for me as professional and many of the viewers to watch Humsafar when they missed the episode for load-shedding or any other reason. And those who want to watch it again and again.
Youtube recorded more than 2 million uploads of episodes, OST and related videos of Humsafar in the past 90 days of the last episode, according to the official number Hum TV reported as quoting Youtube.
The consolidated pages of Humsafar were liked approximately 4 million times on Facebook. The number of outside liked which represent Hamsafar or links from its pages share on other pages reached 6.4 million.
In the last 90 days, Google registered highest number of keywords up to 4.54 million related to Humsafar, Hum TV reports.
Humsafar was rated high at 7.5 TRPs had been concluded with overwhelming response and an extraordinary hype but it recorded a history of its kind which was good and tough time (Dhoop Chahao Ka Aalam) for cellular operators that should be kept next time to manage and cash in.